St Matthew 11 Reflections

The Gospel According to St. Matthew: Matthew Chapter 11: Read Here:

11 woes

The Twelve Teach of Christ

Following the instructions that Jesus gave to the twelve disciples, He began again to teach and to preach in their cities. And the Twelve did as well.

While in prison, John the Baptist heard of the works Jesus had been doing, and ‘he sent two of disciples, And said unto Him,

“Art thou He that should come or do we look for another?”

‘Jesus answered and said unto them,

“Go and shew John again those thing which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me”’ (Matt 11:2-6).

Further thoughts: Don’t Jesus’s works testify of Him? Aren’t His miracles the fulfillment of prophecy? More importantly, don’t we gain a testimony of Him by being believing, following Him through keeping His commandments and doing what we are able to do to serve others, and by asking our Heavenly Father in prayer? We cannot know that Jesus is the Christ without being obedient to His commandments.

Jesus then bears witness to the mission and ministry of John the Baptist. John was the messenger who came before the Christ to prepare the way for His mission, as was prophesied. He also was a humble man with a humble beginning, but there was no prophet born who was greater than John. Yet Jesus, Who descended below all things so that He could raise His people above all things; He who was greatest of all, becoming the least of all; Jesus was greater than John.

John’s ministry was a precursor to Jesus’s ministry; and as John’s was coming to a close, Jesus’s was blossoming.

Jesus explained to the people that the responsibility to be believing fell on them.

Further thoughts: What does that mean for us? Are we left without excuse, saying that we did not understand the message of the gospel? Or is it up to each of us individually, to read, study, and live according to the Spirit, developing faith in Him so that we can be believing and not have our faith shaken?

“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, he hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.’ But wisdom is justified of her children” (vs. 18-19).

Further thought: Even today we find fault with the deliverer or the delivery of the message, instead of accepting the goodness of the message and believing that there is power found in the gospel for our salvation. Can we truly receive the message, without receiving the Messenger? Can we truly receive Jesus if we cast aside those who deliver His message because we don’t like their delivery or we personally do not like them or the message they deliver?

Jesus gave examples of those cities, in ancient times, which had the opportunity to accept the gospel, but chose to remain blind and unaffected by the works and miracles they witnessed. Pronouncing “woes” to Chorazin and Bethsaida, Jesus said,

“For if the might works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, that for thee” (vs. 21-24).

Further thoughts: These people had undeniable eyewitness proof. But seeing is not believing, because we can still be blinded; but, faith is seeing.

So is it a greater evil to reject Jesus and His servants who bear His message, His works, and His glorious gospel than it is to be engaged in all kinds of abominable acts? It appears so. Some of the most evil cities would have been converted, cast off their sins and become disciples, and been healed; because, they would have chosen to be believing.

What does that mean for us in today’s world? Why does this make it even more important to invite everyone to come unto Him?

Jesus prayed to Heavenly Fathe to thank Him for imparting His truths to the humble and teachable, to those who are like little children:

“I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou has hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for it seemed good in thy sight” (vs. 25-26).

“All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” (vs. 26).

Then He tells us how we can be part of His Father’s in crowd; and also how to receive His light, rest and peace. Words of Jesus that are often quoted are found in Matthew 11:28-30:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Are we ever weary with the load we must carry? We don’t have to go it alone. Yoked with the Lord’s good news we can do all things necessary, and we can even be joyful in having His companionship.


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